Classification of all things

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Is there a classification of all things? This question actually arises from the 20 Q game. If things are categorized and arranged as a tree, it would be very easy.
I don't think there exist such a categorization (who has the time!) but still is it possible?

You could start with natural and human-made things and then go on further.
 

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  • #2
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consult set theory
 
  • #3
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Of course everything can be put into classes.......I if something is discovered that doesn't fit, we just make a new class for it!
 
  • #4
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consult set theory
I don't understand how set theory is related to my question.
Of course everything can be put into classes.......I if something is discovered that doesn't fit, we just make a new class for it!
Yes of course. I was looking if it is possible to intuitively list out all the categories.
Something like this - Well, we need food, shelter, things for our comfort. Now food can be plants or animals .... and so on.
 
  • #5
collinsmark
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Is there a classification of all things? This question actually arises from the 20 Q game. If things are categorized and arranged as a tree, it would be very easy.
I don't think there exist such a categorization (who has the time!) but still is it possible?

You could start with natural and human-made things and then go on further.

There are many taxonomies, or taxonomic schemes that have been created for things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_%28general%29

But no practical taxonomy explicitly contains everything. I suppose it would be like trying to draw every detail of a fractal. And you can count on some things being more ambiguous to classify than others, for any given taxonomic scheme. I imagine cultural difference, language semantics and connotations complicate the process. (It doesn't keep people from trying though).
 
  • #6
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There are many taxonomies, or taxonomic schemes that have been created for things.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_%28general%29

But no practical taxonomy explicitly contains everything. I suppose it would be like trying to draw every detail of a fractal. And you can count on some things being more ambiguous to classify than others, for any given taxonomic scheme. I imagine cultural difference, language semantics and connotations complicate the process. (It doesn't keep people from trying though).

I love when things are systematic like the way we have classified each fundamental particle, elements etc.
But I suppose there are just too many things, too many combinations to systematically categorize everything.

Thank You anyways!
 
  • #7
CompuChip
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I think in the 20Q thread there was also a link to an online version. If you have played it you will already have noticed some ambiguities.
For example, I was thinking of the sun, and then it asks questions like "is it shiny", "is it used for entertainment" to which I don't really know the answer. And I answered "Yes" to "Can it be painted" while apparently it thinks not. In that case, I guess you will have answered your own question.
 
  • #8
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I think its possible, but rather than a tree it would form a web, where single node can have many connections.
 

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